Lunar exploration will probably develop more and more as the decades go by. Very ambitious research and exploration projects currently are under development by organizations around the world. But there is a slight problem. The Moon tends to be quite dark, quite often and this lasts for two weeks at a time, not to mention the below-freezing temperatures on the rock. So, astronauts will definitely need some sort of fuel to provide power for light and heat. Moon dust bricks could provide that.
The fuel can obviously be brought from Earth, but this is not a very practical and economical solution for a long term outpost. Instead, scientists are looking to the Moon to provide a solution for the fuel issue.
Solar power can be used, but this requires hauling large amounts of batteries to store the energy, which is possible but not desirable. Harvesting solar energy will also be limited when the panels have access to light.
It is believed that bricks made from lunar dust could provide fuel for the needs of the colonists. The dust is called lunar regolith and has been studied on Earth for some time now. Simulations have been performed using materials found on Earth to see if applications are possible.
ESA representative, Aidan Crowley, comments on the process: “In this study, we used Earth rock with comparable properties to Moon, crushed into powder until the particles matched the size of those in the lunar regolith.”
Moon Dust Bricks To Power The Future Lunar Colony
The dust was made into bricks. Wires were inserted into them with live current. After this, the bricks were placed in a simulated lunar environment, and it was discovered they could store the power that was put into them.
That means that Moon dust bricks take the place of regular batteries, being able to store energy from solar panels. It will have to be good enough for Earth first colony in space. So, bring on the solar panels and the brick ovens.
Ben Price is a 30-something-year-old from Halifax Nova Scotia that loves to share his passion for all things Canadian. Apart from running his own YouTube Channel, which uploads weekly videos that cover ground-breaking new technology, he spends his time rowing. In regards to academics, Ben studied Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at Guelph University. Ben covers science and technology stories here at Great Lakes Ledger.